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2014 MAY&JUNE vol. 21

New Opening

KAIJU SAKABA QUALITY REVIEW Hita City, Oita Prefecture Yumehibiki, a Premium Plum Wine From Oyama-machi, Where Plums are Prized


Emeritus Professor, The Jikei University School of Medicine Former Director, The Jikei University Hospital

Hiroshi Moriyama

AirEngine by Balmuda: An Air Cleaning Device that Even Removes PM2.5

[FEATURE] Savoring Seasonal Bounty and the Historical Flavor of Dashi Stock

Delicious Japanese Food The Difficulty of Preserving a Taste Unchanged in 300 Years Kyoto/ Imobo Hiranoya Honke

A Pride That Comes From Serving Only the Finest Tokyo/Seika Kobayashi

Seasonal Sensibilities in Every Single Dish Tokyo/ Camellia Hotel Chinzanso Tokyo

May&June 2014 (published on April 7, 2014) C OV E R

Photography/Yosuke Suga

C O N T E N T S 05

New Opening



Savoring Seasonal Bounty and the Historical Flavor of Dashi Stock

Delicious Japanese Food ● The Difficulty of Preserving a Taste Unchanged in 300 Years Kyoto/ Imobo Hiranoya Honke

● A Pride That Comes From Serving Only the Finest Tokyo/Seika Kobayashi

● Seasonal Sensibilities in Every Single Dish Tokyo/ Camellia Hotel Chinzanso Tokyo



Hita City, Oita Prefecture Yumehibiki, a Premium Plum Wine From Oyama-machi, Where Plums are Prized AirEngine by Balmuda: An Air Cleaning Device that Even Removes PM2.5




Article 1 in a Series

My Grandmother s Example

Hiroshi Moriyama

Emeritus Professor, The Jikei University School of Medicine Former Director, The Jikei University Hospital

Publisher and Editor-in-Chief Jun Shinozuka Editors

Jun Nakaki Lyu nari

JQR editorial department 2-1-14 Sarugakucho, Chiyoda-ku Tokyo 101-0064 03-3518-2270

Siori Ito Masahito Kato

JQR advertising department


Wakako Kawasaki


Motoki Nakae


Manabiya Inc.

2-1-14 Sarugakucho, Chiyoda-ku Tokyo 101-0064 03-3518-4488

g n i n e p O w e N Alien Baltan is the Manager!

Alien Baltan won t show up while the pub is open to Earthlings, but the place is still a wonderland!

Pub where Ultra monsters and aliens regularly gather to blow off steam now open to humans! Photos/Tomoya Takai Text/JQR

The fun menu features foods every monster will love, inc luding the Alien Baltan Special, Go for the Color Time r!, and Destroy the Japanese Branch of the Science Sp ecial Search Party! Beer mugs are decorated with one of five Ultraman characters, and while the Kaiju chopst ick rests on the tables aren t for sale, every guest is allow ed to take one home. The pub also sells limited-edition Kaij u Sakaba merchandise and DVDs, books and other product s from the Ultraman series. Note that the pub refuses servi ce to members of the Terrestrial Defense Force and anyon e who can change into a superhero.


appeared in Episode Two of the original

break, too. It s scheduled to be open to

Sakaba, a secret pub where all mighty

Ultraman series. He supposedly first came

humans for only a year, but if enough

aliens and monsters can relax and debate,

to Earth after losing his home to a nuclear

people are having a good time interacting

available to the people of planet M240,

explosion, but now here he is, manager of

with all the monsters and aliens, Alien

this place you call Earth.

the Kaiju Sakaba and looking very

Baltan might consider keeping it open

This announcement came from none other

pleased with life on our planet.


than Alien Baltan, the space ninja who first

 The pub is, of course, designed for

We have decided to make the Kaiju

monsters. Lighting is kept low, and the place is decorated with figures of all the old familiar creatures like Kanegon and Red King. It s easy to imagine their ferocious yet somehow lovable antics and famous fight scenes.  Apparently they like to visit the pub to let off some steam after being beaten by Special secret rooms open only to guests celebrating a birthday.

Ultraman, which should make this a perfect


KAIJU SAKABA NOF Kawasaki Higashi-guchi Bldg. B 1 st Floor 3 - 1 Ekimae-honcho, Kawasaki-ku, Kawasaki-shi, Kanagawa TEL:044-210-5565 URL: Holidays:Open all year Hours: 4:30 p.m. ‒ 12 a.m. (Last order for food: 11 p.m.; last order for drinks: 11:30 p.m.) (Open only until March, 2015)

place for work-weary Earthlings to take a 2014 May& June


Kyoto Imobo Hiranoya Honke During the Taisho period the restaurant bur ned to the ground, but this box, containing an ink sketch of KumezĹ? Kitamura, the 11th generation ancestor who revived the f amily fortunes, was rescued from the ďŹ re (calligraphy by Kaishu Matsumura and Isa o Kurata). The box has scorch marks on th e outside, and the sketch itself has water s tains.

Savoring Seasonal Bounty and the Historical Flavor of Dashi Stock

Delicious Japanese Food

A Japanese dish, made with painstaking effort from carefully selected ingredients. The source of its flavor is dashi stock, an ingredient with a long history, artfully combined with a bountiful range of seasonal ingredients through the skill and passion of the cook. Photography / Yosuke Suga Text/ Shiori Ito JQR Editorial staff

Tokyo Seika Kobayashi


2014 May&June

A reservations-only restaurant that accepts only t wo bookings a day. The menu consists solely of the owner-chef s car efully thought out courses of Japanese dishes. Thi s bowl of seasonal ingredients in a broth of dashi stock is balm for the soul.





A restaurant offering traditional Kyoto cuisine in a corner of Maruyama Park has been in the same family for fourteen generations

The Difficulty of Preserving a Taste Unchanged in 300 Years Imobo Hiranoya Honke, Kyoto

Founder Gondayu Hirano worked for the head of the Shoren-in Temple from the Genroku (1688-1704) to Kyoho (1716-1736) eras. The skills and taste that he perfected in his restaurant, Imobo, have been handed down through the family by word of mouth ever since. We asked the current 14th generation proprietress, Akemi Kitamura, about these secrets.

from the Emperor to leave his service


and start up a restaurant. This is how

While it was undoubtedly a heavy

the restaurant began.

responsibility to continue such a long

In Kyoto the consummate pairing of two

tradition, More than anything else I just

You will find Imobo Hiranoya Honke in

ingredients is described as a unique

like the work, Ms. Kitamura said with a

a corner of Maruyama Park, on the way

encounter. This means that combining


from Yasaka Shrine heading to the

the two makes each even more

This traditional taste is passed down

Chion-in temple complex. The name

delicious, a multiplication of flavor

completely by word of mouth. There is

Imobo comes from a dish made of yam

rather than an addition. In earlier times

nothing written in the way of a recipe or

(ebi-imo) simmered with dried cod

when the transport network was not as

notes; instead, it is about looking with

(bodara). There is a reason why this

developed, having two ingredients that

the eyes, remembering with the body

dish has long been a favorite in Kyoto.

would never normally come into

and experiencing with the tongue. The

proximity of each other meet in the

important thing in maintaining the same

century, in the middle of the Edo period,

same pot and bring out greater things

flavor is to assess the weather and

Imobo founder Gondayu Hirano was

from each other was indeed a unique

quality of ingredients on any given day.

working in the service of the imperial

encounter of the highest order. The

That s not something you can write

court. When a younger brother of the

similarity of this process to a man and

down. To maintain exactly the same

Emperor visited Kyushu, he brought

woman from different backgrounds

flavor in Kyoto, with its extreme

with him sweet potatos, which Gondayu

cooperating in marriage led to the dish

seasonal weather changes, requires

Hirano began to cultivate in the

coming to symbolize the wish for family

great mastery of the senses. Ms.

Maruyama Gion area, managing to grow

happiness, becoming a traditional Kyoto

Kitamura s son has learned this art,

high-quality produce. These came to be

dish, essential to any celebratory

ensuring that the tradition will continue

called ebi-imo due to the shape and

occasion, such as the New Year or a

on to the fifteenth generation.

vertical stripe pattern on the surface,


Many figures in the literary world have

The History of Imobo

During the early eighteenth

which resembled prawns (ebi). Dried cod (bodara) was transported from countries to the north by sea, and was a precious source of protein in the city


Continuing the Tradition

loved this flavor. For example, novelist Eiji Yoshikawa famously wrote: A taste that has been handed down for a hundred years, tastes of one hundred

of Kyoto, and was presented as an

How does the same taste get handed

years. Nobel prizewinner Yasunari

offering to the imperial court. Thus,

down unchanged for over three hundred

Kawabata is also said to have stopped

according to legend, did yams from a


by for some imobo after celebrating

southern country meet up with fish from

The current proprietress, Ms. Kitamura,

receiving his prize. A frequent visitor to

a northern country in Kyoto, resulting,

finishes her housework every morning

the restaurant, Kawabata once wrote a

after much trial and error, in the

before changing into a kimono and

piece of calligraphy stating Eat

creation of the dish imobo. The

setting out for the restaurant. Ms.

delicious food and live long . The

reputation of imobo grew and Gondayu

Kitamura is the younger of two sisters,

restaurant is also the setting for one of

Hirano, wanting to spread this dish

but had always vaguely assumed since

crime novelist Seicho Matsumoto s

throughout Kyoto, received permission

childhood that she would take over the


2014 May


Good Food and Long Life Experience the Mystery of Life-Extending Japanese Cooking

The dried cod used at Hiranoya is Pacific cod, preserved by drying in the shade. In the past it was presented to the Imperial Court. The yams were originally brought from Kyushu in the days when they were a rarity, before there were widespread distribution networks. They were cultivated and came to be called ebi-imo (prawn yams) due to their shape and patterning. Imobo is made by cooking the yams and dried cod in a big pan.


Recreating a Three-Hundred Year Old Flavor

hard ones do not cook properly in the

care every day for three hundred years,

center. The secret to imobo, however,

and is not something that a person

is that the ingredients don t fall apart

could learn to make in a short time. The

even when cooked together. The

long investment of time produces a

restaurant uses a special large pan for

flavor that cannot easily be recreated.

The seasoning in imobo is very simple.

cooking. The cooking takes time, with

Katsuobushi (dried bonito shavings),

the heat regulated as necessary and

konbu (kelp), sugar and soy sauce.

bitter scum carefully removed. It is said

That s all it is.

that the bitter juice that comes out of

Ms. Kitamura reveals the process. We

the ebi-imo softens the dried cod, and

Customers of all ages and types flock

rehydrate the dried cod by soaking it in

elements secreted from the dried cod

to Imobo, from families with children to

iced water for a week, until it s soft.

prevent the ebi-imo from falling apart.

couples out on a date, but many

Then it s put in a pot with the ebi-imo,

There are other secrets besides the

first-time male customers seem a little

which has had the skin peeled off in

pan. The cooking broth itself is handed

bewildered. Men tend to think of yams

thick slices. We put in dashi stock

down and added to. A tiny part of the

as something for women or children,

made from konbu and katsuobushi, and

flavor in this broth may be from the Edo

and when they see our food for the first

simmer over a very low heat for three to

period itself, says Ms. Kitamura. That

time, they say What, yams? with

four hours. Then we add the sugar and

is how the taste of a three hundred year

disappointment. But once they take a

soy sauce in two or three lots. We don t

old flavor deepens, creating a flavor that

bite, they realize it goes with sake and

use any special brands, just the

does indeed, as Yasunari Kawabata

fills the stomach, so that by the time

ordinary ones that have always been

wrote, have longevity.

they leave they are satisfied, says Ms.

around. Next we remove it from the

The cooked yams are soft, and can

Kitamura, describing how it happens.

heat and leave it to stand overnight so

easily be broken into pieces with

Male customers who have been to the

the flavor can penetrate, then next day

chopsticks. Bite into one and you can

restaurant before might agree with her.

bring it to the boil again, adjust the

tell that the flavor has penetrated

flavoring and it s done.

evenly. The dried cod also has a

Usually ingredients of different hardness

pleasing softness. The first bite tastes

wouldn t be cooked together, since if

sweet, but is so perfectly balanced it

they aren t cooked separately the softer

leaves no aftertaste. This flavor has

ingredients tend to fall apart, and the

been painstakingly recreated with loving

2014 May&June

A Flavor Loved by Everyone

This beguiling dish of yam and dri ed cod does not fall apart even aft er two days of slow cooking. The aroma tempts the taste buds to pa rtake of its life giving energy.








The charming red lanterns that han g from the ceiling are popular with f emale patrons. Seating is available on chairs or tatami mats, in semipartitioned rooms or facing the gard en.

The 200 year old oriental elm insid e the restaurant. The wall is cut ou t to accommodate the tree as it co ntinues to grow. It s a robust tree t hat seems to be part of the buildin g, doing its own part to preserve tr adition.

house. It s a familiar part of the park

Being granted world heritage status is a

scenery. The house and fields of the

good opportunity to spread the word

restaurant s founder, Gondayu Hirano,

about Japanese food. However, that

about my hospitality. Don t do anything

apparently used to be in an area that is

doesn t mean doing something new. I

to someone that you wouldn t like done

nowadays crowded with people viewing

try to make the traditional taste,

to yourself, to begin with. Do whatever

the cherry blossoms. When the Meiji

unchanged, and offer the same

for the memory of your ancestors.

would make you happy. That s all it is.

government decided to build a park

hospitality as always. As the times

My husband and I had been going out

Everybody has ancestors. I m not doing

Thus was Ms. Kitamura s answer to a

here, the family had to relocate, but the

speed up, knowing the good things

I wanted to do it too. I really enjoy

since I was in university. I had decided

anything particularly special. Everything

question regarding what hospitality

restaurant was allowed to remain in the

about Kyoto, its history and culture,

meeting customers, so I was probably

to carry on the restaurant, so when the

is so convenient now, but in the past

means. Too much hospitality can have


gives people a more relaxed sense of

suited to the service industry. My sister

time came to consider marriage, I didn t

traveling to Kyushu could mean putting

the unintended effect of making

An old-fashioned Kasuga-style stone

time, and the days seem to pass a little

preferred more homemaking type

know what would happen. He was

your life at stake. It was a truly great

someone uncomfortable. A restaurant

lantern stands next to the entrance, and

more calmly. Regardless of the times, I

activities, such as knitting and making

transferred elsewhere, but I couldn t go

thing, I think, for my ancestor to find

that you can visit spontaneously without

in the courtyard flowers bloom as the

am happy if I can just keep something

sweets, so it seemed to me that I was

with him because of the restaurant, so I

these delicious yams in a place he

any special preparation is one where

seasons change and wild birds

important alive and pass it on to

more suited to taking over the

thought that it would be the end for us.

would never see again, and bring them

you can feel totally relaxed and able to

sometimes pause to rest, and red


restaurant. But it was not that Ms.

Instead, the ties between the two grew

back because he wanted to give

enjoy the food without haste. The

lanterns hang over the seats facing the

Kitamura was not interested in any

stronger, and Ms. Kitamura s then

everyone the experience of eating them.

literary figures who used to visit the

garden, overlooking the beautiful

Ms. Kitamura will be there in the future,

other vocations. Apparently there was a

boyfriend quit his company to start

When I think about that I can t help but

restaurant undoubtedly kept coming

scenery of Maruyama Park.

waiting to welcome customers and

time during her student years when she

working at the restaurant, and the two

feel appreciative.

back because they appreciated that

There is other seating in tatami mat

keeping the tradition alive.

wanted to be a pilot. Having said she

married. I am so grateful to my

kind of relaxed hospitality.

rooms. A two hundred year-old oriental

was suited to customer service, you

husband. He was a salaryman, so

surely what informs Ms. Kitamura s

might think a cabin attendant would be

maybe he said he d do it because he

approach, and everything she does in

a more likely choice. But Isn t being a

didn t know how hard it could be

her work.

pilot a lot more interesting? Ms.

running a restaurant. I was very happy

Kitamura said with sparkling eyes, I

that we also had the support of my

Hiranoya Honke is located inside

Visitors from overseas flock to Kyoto for

like having adventures.

husband s family, she reflects

Maruyama Park, to the east of the Gion

its unique atmosphere and scenery. In

nostalgically. Once the children were

district and Yasaka Shrine, a park

the past tourists were unused to foods

bigger I was able to go to the restaurant

well-known for its weeping cherry

such as nori and grated Japanese yam,

everyday, and life became very busy. I

blossom trees. Cross a bridge over a

but now many use the Internet to gather

m sure there were moments when we

small stream to reach the restaurant,

information on Japanese culture and

felt the stress. But when you re busy

built in the style of a tea ceremony

enjoy with a greater understanding.

Life as the Proprietress of Imobo I was born the second daughter of

you forget those moments. There s no

a certain amount of resolution. The life

time for stress to build up, she says

of the man who became Ms. Kitamura s

with a laugh. If you love the work you

I don t believe there s anything special

husband would also be affected by that

do, it s possible to pour everything into

decision. Before their marriage, Ms.


Hiraboya Honke Imobo, and ever since

Kitamura s husband was an ordinary

I was small I always watched my

company salaryman.

mother doing this work and thought that

Resolving to Carry on the Tradition Deciding to carry on the tradition as the


fourteenth generation proprietor required

2014 May&June

Carrying on a tradition means caring

That sense of appreciation is


Maruyama Park Location

It is comforting to know that

elm inside the restaurant continues growing even now, towering over the wall that is cut out to accommodate its growth.

DATA Maruyama Park, Gion, Higashiyama-ku, Kyot o, 605-0071 (North of Yasaka Shrine) TEL 075-525-0026/075-525-0004 11:00-20:30 (last orders: 20:00) Open every day

2014 May& June





The End Result of a Fixation on Flavor

A Pride That Comes From Serving Only the Finest Tokyo/Seika Kobayashi Seika Kobayashi is a Japanese restaurant accommodating just eight guests. The owner-chef works alone, his mind never at rest as he works to come up with the finest dishes.

The fourth floor restaurant consists solely of a counter and a table, ea ch seating four. The serving dishes on the shelves include many one-of-a-kind pieces by ceramicists carefully chosen by the owner-chef.

His goal was to survive solely on his skills as a chef

I couldn t help worrying that if I didn t

what Yuji Kobayashi hoped as he

have something special, I d end up the

entered culinary school after high


him of his nerve. But Kobayashi

His turning point came out of the blue.

and thought Wow, that s beautiful. I

persisted, buying one plate at a time.

One day, a regular customer who d

That s the first time I saw something want it.

With the hope of one day having his

heard Kobayashi chatting about his

Still a teenager, Kobayashi agonized

Falling in love with a plate was one

own place where he could serve the

dreams for the future told him about a

him to pursue Japanese cuisine. The

through the long days, until one day he

thing, but going to an exhibition of a

dishes he d prepared on the Seika Suda

place he might be able to afford. Just

I m reminded of an old popular song

days and weeks that followed were a

happened upon a Kutani ware plate.

famous potter s works and buying a

plates he d acquired, he continued his

33 square meters, it featured an open

that went The chef is a lone wolf. All

monotonous round of nose-to-the-

Created by Seika Suda, a fourth-

one-of-a-kind piece was no simple

apprenticeship at Kitcho, an old and

kitchen with a counter that seated just

he can rely on is the skills he s

cutting-board practice and study.

generation ceramicist, it had all the

matter for a young man of only 20. It

respected Japanese restaurant.

four people, and when he lined up his

hallmarks of the Kutani tradition, but

wasn t just a matter of saving up his

practiced and perfected. It emphasizes


skills need never go hungry. That s

school, where his dexterous hands led

My friends at school were also my

how tough the chef s life can be, but

rivals, all of us hoping to become chefs.

was exquisitely decorated in a modern

meager earnings̶the rarified

also the idea that a chef with strong

In the midst of this friendly competition,


atmosphere at the exhibits also robbed

2014 May&June

An Encounter with an Intimate Space

collection of serving dishes they seemed to fit right in the intimate space. The location and other

2014 May& June


Gorgeous color delights the eye, while carefully-selected ingredients delight the tongue.

Clear soup is garnished with yuzu, bringing th e aroma of the broth to the back of the nose as the steam wafts from the bowl.

Generously-portioned steamed abalone is plump and tender, accented with the delectable f ragrance of fresh green horseradish.

conditions were ideal, and Kobayashi

over long years of working with diverse

decided this was where he d plant the

ingredients and applying creativity and

flag of his new restaurant, Seika

skill to bringing out their flavors. That

Kobayashi. The Seika, of course, he

history also nurtured the Japanese

took from the name of the potter who d

sense of taste.

been his inspiration all along. He also decided he d take reservations

often expresses multiple flavors as a

for just two parties a night̶eight

single taste̶ sweet/spicy, or sweet/

people being the most he could handle

sour. And although the human body is

doing everything himself.

designed to reject bitter flavors as

I thought that by working in front of the

foods can sometimes taste good. The

meals, their expressions as they ate, I d

ability to recreate these flavors on the

be better able to serve food I could be

plate gives Japanese cuisine its depth,

satisfied with. That s just an excuse, of

which is what makes it so rewarding to

course̶in such a small place, I didn t


have any choice.

As a chef, Kobayashi takes pride in

In any case, that s what he thought at

preparing food that brings out these

the time.

delicate, varied flavors for diners to enjoy, and in seeing his customers enjoy them. As a result, he pays great attention to his ingredients, starting with their aroma, color, and luster,

Japanese cuisine gets its richness and

checking their resilience, how his knife

variety from the seasons, from the

goes through them, considering what

opportunity to enjoy products of the

cut surfaces to present. How, in other

mountains and the sea when they are

words, each ingredient can best be

at their best. The techniques found in


Japanese cooking were established

The appeal of Japanese cuisine goes

2014 May&June

Katsuramuki is the most fundamental skill for an y kind of Japanese knife work. The chef focuses on using the pad of his thumb to ensure he mai ntains a uniformly thin cut.

possibly poisonous, even bitter or acrid

customers, seeing how they paced their

The Depth Makes for Rewarding Work


For example, the Japanese language

Thinly-peeled carrot and radish are finely sliced, tied together, and placed in the bowl. The comb ination of red and white adds both color and fla vor.

Only a single tasting menu, changed every six weeks, is offered. The dishes used in this trio of appetizers are b oth beautiful to look at, and enhance the appearance of the food.
















Handpicked fish is carefully prepared, skewered, and charcoal-roasted. The crackling sound is accompanied by the smell of the charcoal and the fragrant aroma of the skin.

Kobayashi gained his first Micheli n star just 18 months after openin g in 2009. The restaurant is like a hideaway, located on a quiet resi dential street.

The Dangers of Convenience

particularly good. The flavors all just

life as a chef is that there aren t a lot of

once every few years, I remember them

play it safe, food to satisfy anyone and

really delicious foods out there. Today,

once they visit again and enjoy a meal


he s made his restaurant a place for


soup stock. Dashi provides the so-

That tastes should change with the

Flavors are not only increasingly

pursuing the finest flavors. Because he

Opening the restaurant was an anxious

texture on the tongue, the rush of flavor

called umami component, and is

times is only natural, but Kobayashi

indistinguishable, preservatives are

works with a broker at the Tsukiji fish

time. With no money to advertise,

as one chews. The sound of skin

typically made from kelp and dried

senses a risk in our reliance on the

used to give the foods a longer shelf

market who he truly trusts, his menus

Kobayashi had to rely on word of mouth

crackling from a just-roasted piece of

bonito. Even preparing these individual

all-too convenient tastes offered by the

life. Kobayashi fears that eating such

are generally composed around fish.

from the guests that did show up. On

fish, even the sound of ingredients

ingredients involves the efforts of a

typical convenience store.

foods from an early age will lead to a

rubbing together in a bowl̶all of these

great many people.

comprise our enjoyment of food.

For example, the dried bonito starts

convenience stores. My mother s

with bonito caught at sea by fishermen.

cooking was the only thing I knew. But

The fish is brought to land, cleaned and

beyond flavor, and encompasses the

chance to take the stage.

enjoyment of sight, smell, and texture.

One of these forms the foundation of

The anticipation as one reaches for a

flavor in Japanese cuisine̶dashi, or

morsel with one s chopsticks. The

There are also ways to combine the colors of the ingredients with the right serving dishes to stimulate the sight and make food seem even more appetizing. Even the tiniest garnish of carved yuzu

bushi in katsuo-bushi, the Japanese name for dried bonito) and boiled. Once boiled, the bushi is then hung outside

But 18 months from opening, he

what I use, I get the best fish possible,

received his first Michelin star, and

that quick and convenient is better, that

and that improves my cooking.

since then, reservations have been hard

mothers aren t professional chefs, and

cheap goods are better than expensive

The dishes he comes up with leave

to come by. His obsession with flavor

sometimes they mess up. This gives us

ones, that it s okay for things to be just

diners groaning with pleasure. The food

seems to have inspired his guests, and

a chance to really experience what bad

okay and not anything special, become

comes out looking beautiful, the

today, there s no doubt the word is

flavors taste like.

the new normal.

portions are generous, and the distinct

spreading. Seika Kobayashi is a

At 38, Kobayashi is among the last

flavors of the ingredients enrich and

restaurant that takes pride in making

delight with the first bite.

sure every dish is delectable.

To know what tastes delicious, it s also

decreased sense of taste. I don t think we should let this sense

to dry before going into a smoker. Each

important to know what doesn t. This

generation to have grown up without

presentation of Japanese cuisine.

step in the process is handled by a

teaches us that food comes in all kinds

convenience stores, and says he

different specialist. The finished, dried

of flavors, and helps expand our sense

wishes that the younger generation

senses, opening up the mind and body.

bonito is then stored in a warehouse

of taste.

would have a greater awareness of the

Customers find even their conversations

importance of food. This, he says, is

are deeper. Since I started working here

where it matures. All of this work goes

If I asked my mother to make me a

Eating good food stimulates all five

into just one ingredient used in making

lunch, she would always take the time

why he hopes to continue leaving a

alone, I ve closed the distance between

the broth.

to prepare rice balls. Today, a wide

legacy that honors the wonders of

myself and my customers. Starting a

Today, the word umami has found its

variety of prepackaged lunches is

Japanese cuisine.

conversation with the seasons, talking

every day. Japanese cuisine features a

way into use even overseas, further

readily available. Kids today even show

surprisingly wide range of ingredients,

proof that the rich flavors of Japanese

up for field trips or athletic meets with

from the stars of the show to the bit

cooking are appreciated by people the

store-bought lunches. The problem is,

players. Many of them play an important

world over.

none of the foods sold at convenience

I get all kinds of ingredients delivered

role even though they seldom get a 2014 May&June

top of that, his prices are fairly high.

best ingredients better than me select

When I was a child, we didn t have

peel is indispensable to the

Dashi is at the Heart of Japanese Cuisine


formed into the classic boat shape (the

By letting someone who can spot the

stores tastes bad; neither is any of it

In Pursuit of the Ultimate Dish One thing Kobayashi has learned in his

about places where their favorite foods are produced or memories they associate with them, I ve learned to understand each individual s upbringing and lifestyle. Even if I see them only

DATA Seika Kobayashi At the owner-chef s request, address and phone n umber have not been provided.

2014 May










Embracing the scent of spring as cherry trees bloom: mousse of John Dory in vernal pastels




Haute cuisine based on the philosophy of Auguste EscoďŹƒer

Seasonal Sensibilities in Every Single Dish Daniel Paquet Head Chef


Hotel Chinzanso Tokyo

Head Chef at Hotel Chinzanso Tokyo's Camellia restaurant since 2011, Daniel Paquet creates flavors unique to Camellia for diners to savor as they enjoy the seasonal charms of the hotel's Japanese garden. We talked to Paquet, a four-decade resident of Japan, about combining French cuisine with Japanese-style flair. 20

2014 May&June


A palate expanded by Japanese cooking offers inspiration for a new take on French cuisine

Spr ing at t he Hotel Chinzanso Tokyo brings a blaze of color with the bloom ing of 120 trees of around 20 varieties, starting wi t h Kawaz u and Taiwan cherries, continuing through S om ei Y oshino cherries and finishing with weeping double-flow ered varie t i es . Over t his six-week period the view of the garden from C am ellia is sim ply m agnificent.

A dream becomes forty years in Japan

half a millennium or more. Paquet was

At Camellia, the set menus are renewed

particularly taken with the cherry trees

about seven times a year: quite a rapid

and fireflies. What Paquet specializes in

pace. When developing new menus,

 Born in France's Bresse region,

is French haute cuisine, but he found

Paquet's main priorities are to use

Daniel Paquet trained in French cuisine

that working amid such verdant

seasonal ingredients, giving diners a

and embarked on a career that by 1972

surroundings honed his sensibilities,

sense of each season. Paquet has

saw him in the roles of chef saucier

and he began to wonder if he could

always proactively included ingredients

and sous chef at Maxim's in Paris.

incorporate this distinctively Japanese

he has only become familiar with since

While in Paris he met and married a

sort of refinement in his cooking.

coming to Japan. The Hotel Chinzanso Tokyo also hosts many events steeped

Japanese woman, and in 1976 came to Japan to take up the post of executive

Cherry blossom turns the garden pale

in Japanese tradition. Paquet studies

chef at Maxim's de Paris in Ginza,

pink, dazzling against blue skies,

these occasions and familiarizes


soothing the souls of all who survey the

himself with the relevant traditions, then

scene. Unlike the Japanese, who tend

does his utmost to please guests

to view cherry trees in terms of the

coming to the hotel for each event.

evanescence of scattering petals,

Such thoughtfulness is the true essence

For Paquet, who says he thought that

Paquet was seduced by the sheer

of hospitality.

all Japanese wore kimonos, and

vitality of their vibrant blooming in the

The month and a half devoted to a

samurai could still be seen around, the

here and now. The challenge was how

menu passes in a flash, and soon it is

Ginza streets came as quite a shock.

to express such a sentiment in his

time to create the next one. While

cooking. A sensation he had never

coming up with new menus means

reflects. Japan was really modern. I

experienced in France began to take

wracking his brains each time, Paquet

never imagined there would be high-rise

hold. Carefully shaping edible lily bulbs

cheerfully confides that nothing makes

buildings, or people wearing suits. In

into cherry blossom petals, he dyed the

him happier than imagining the smiles

2011 Paquet was appointed head chef

green petals pink and put together a

of customers waiting eagerly for each

at Camellia, the French restaurant at

plateful of spring, so to speak, just the

new offering.

Hotel Chinzanso Tokyo. The

sort of creation one might expect from

Meals in the Paquet household are

restaurant's windows look out on the

the dexterous fingers of this master

usually ordinary Japanese food ‒ miso

hotel's Japanese garden. With its flitting


soup, natto, pickled plums and rice ‒

Garden Scenes Stimulate the Senses

That was certainly a surprise, he

birds and splendid floral displays through the seasons, the garden has the air of one that has been there for


2014 May&June

Offering Menus to Match the Season

prepared by his wife. Paquet's palate has become accustomed to flavors not found in France. Just as his

gastronomic horizons have been

not only chicken, but other birds such

French cuisine, Paquet incorporates the

extended by tasting Japanese food,

as duck, guinea fowl and quail. Using a

sensibilities of Japanese cuisine in his

Paquet says he hopes Japanese will

variety of sauces, he coaxes out the

pursuit of new French flavor

find that his cooking extends theirs.

unique taste of each meat. Just as


Japanese cuisine has the umami of

Stocks and Sauces the Deciding Factors in Flavor

dashi stock, in French cooking it is sauces that determine flavor. Occasionally, Paquet says, he

Paquet's native region of Bresse is

experiments with fusing Japanese and

home to the highly-valued Bresse

French flavors, noting that when

chicken breed, and the chef was raised

devising a special French menu to go

on his mother's poultry dishes. In Japan

with Japanese sake, he was surprised

poultry usually means chicken, but Paquet's focus on poultry encompasses

by how compatible they were. Thus while striving to offer quintessential

DATA 2 -10- 8 Sekiguchi Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo Open: All year Hours: Lunch 11:00 ‒ 15:00 (last orders: 14:00) Dinner 17:00 ‒ 22:00 (last orders: 20:00)

2014 May& June


QR 1

Quality Review


Plum wine of Ohyama-machi

Hita City, Oita Prefecture

Yumehibiki, a Premium Plum Wine From Oyama-machi, Where Plums are Prized

Photos (Left page)/Text: Yuko Iida

Photos (Right page): Satoru Naito

surrounding forests. With healthy

Made with Oshuku plums patiently nurtured by contract farmers, this plum wine is slowly matured in white oak barrels.  Oyama-machi is a small town nestled among forested mountains in the city of Hita, in Oita Prefecture. This hilly region, with almost no flat land, is naturally poorly suited to rice production. This is why, since around 1960, the entire town has worked hard to promote the cultivation of plum and chestnut trees. With the government mainly concerned with promoting rice production, the town came up with a clever slogan for their efforts̶ Plant plums and chestnuts and let s all go to Hawaii! ̶which proved successful. Farm income grew, and today Oyama-machi is known for having the highest ratio of passport holders in all of Japan. This initiative set the precedent for the one town, one product movement that was to follow.  Since that time, Oyama-machi has continued to focus on producing fine quality plums. While this work has included upgraded technology, the town also developed a unique composting material utilizing the rich resources available from the

earth to grow in, the plum trees send

sensual.  Even the name of the Oshuku plum

out strong branches and roots,

has romantic origins. During the

warding off disease and pests. This is

mid-Heian Period, the plum tree on

also why levels of pesticide use have

the grounds of the Seiryo-den (the

naturally fallen off over time.

Emperor s palace in Kyoto) had died,

 Today, the plum trees which the

and it was decided that a tree would

townspeople have labored over with

be moved from the gardens of Ki no

such care number nearly 12,000.

Naishi, daughter of the famous poet

Each year, nine plum varieties come

and courtier Ki no Tsurayuki. On a

into riotous bloom, beginning with the

branch of that tree she tied a waka, or

Nankou variety in March, followed by

poem, which read Although this plum

the Nanaore, the Shirakaga, the

tree is being moved at the request of

Oshuku and others. Finally between

His Imperial Majesty, I wonder where

late May and July, the trees become

the bush warbler that kept its nest in

laden with green fruit. This is when

this tree each year will keep its nest

farm families are busiest, harvesting

now? Upon reading this poem, the

the plums, drying and pickling them

Emperor is said to have returned the

and processing them into plum jam.

plum tree. Oshuku is written with the characters for bush warbler and

Use of the Finest Plums Brings Acclaim at Competition Overseas  This is how plums from Oyamamachi have come to be known as Green Diamonds, and Yumehibiki is

shelter.  When the plum trees are in full flower, the bush warbler can be seen hopping from branch to branch among the blossoms, its beautiful song echoing among the hills as it stops to rest. Produced among such tranquil

made with one of those varieties, the

scenery, diligently nurtured by the

Oshuku plum. Premium Yumehibiki is

farmers of Oyama-machi, these plums

produced by transferring plum wine

become Yumehibiki, a premium-quality

that has been aged for three years to

plum wine.

used white oak whiskey barrels, where it is allowed to ripen further. The lingering aroma of malt enhances the sweet-tart flavor of the plums, while the refreshing pungency of the white

 S h i n y g r e e n plums are t he product of lovingly nurtu red trees.

oak imparts an elegant, rich finish. The result is a subtle, flavorful plum wine that might even be called

● Inquiries: Hibiki-no-Sato, 4587 Nishi-Oyama, Oyama-machi, Hita City, Oita Prefecture Tel. 0973-52-3000


2014 May&June

Yumehibiki Barrel-Finished Premium Plum Wine Contents: 500ml Alcohol: 20% Price: 3,333 yen (excl. tax) (With wrapping cloth) Ingredients: Oshuku plums from Oyama, brewed alcohol, syrup

2014 May& June


QR 2

The minimalist design does not clash with any r oom décor.

Quality Review

AirEngine The dual-fan structure releases up to 10,000 liters of filtered air from th e top of the cleaner. AirEngine als o acts as an air circulator.


AirEngine by Balmuda: An Air Cleaning Device that Even Removes PM2.5 Photograph: Satoru Naito Text: JQR

This air cleaner with two fans powerfully moves air and traps harmful airborne particles in the process. The first thing I noticed in the corner of this air cleaner s upper panel was a small round button with an airplane drawn on it. Why an airplane? I couldn t establish a connection between airplanes and air cleaners. When I pressed it, this white apparatus activated its jet cleaning mode , sucking up the surrounding air and then thrusting it out and up straight to the ceiling, producing howling sounds like a jet turbine. The whole phenomenon looked like a small tornado had emerged out of nowhere. It works like this: the air that is driven up to the ceiling by the powerful force of the top fan slowly travels down along the walls and is brought in again to the machine by the bottom fan, ad infinitum. In a nutshell, the machine circulates air in a continuous motion, and removes airborne impurities by allowing air to pass through its interior filter repeatedly. Dust and other fine particulates find their way indoors through the smallest of openings, as no house is airtight. They may be invisible to the human eye, but you can see them when you wipe your table and discover how dirty

the cloth gets. These microscopic

indoors. The filter boasts extremely

particles can be exhaust fumes from

high removal performance. When tested

vehicles and factories, dust from

in a residential room of about 25 square

construction sites, and pollen, as well

meters (260 square feet), it had a

as dust storms traveling from China,

capture rate of over 90% for airborne

which are known as Yellow Sand. Of

particles of 2.5 micrometers in 19

particular concern is fine particulate

minutes and over 90% for airborne

matter smaller than 2.5 micrometers,

particles of 0.1 micrometer in 29

commonly known as PM2.5.


Powerful enough to attract larger, heavier particles

The cylindrical filter, called the 360° Enzyme Filter, efficiently filters the air that comes in from all four surfaces. Made of activated carbon, the honeycomb structure of the filter

Japanese cryptomeria pollen is about

effectively absorbs odors and

30 micrometers in diameter. Yellow

accelerates their decomposition into

Sand is about 5 micrometers. Compared

water and carbon dioxide. For added

to them, PM2.5, which is the term used

peace of mind, Balmuda uses special

to describe particles of 2.5 micrometers

technology to coat the fibers of the filter

or less, is extremely small. In fact, many

with a bacteriolytic enzyme, which

of the particles in the PM2.5 group

deactivates viruses, mildews and molds

measure around 0.3 micrometers and

on contact.

are easily inhaled and accumulated in the body, triggering respiratory and cardiovascular problems. We are told of this health risk but tend to ignore it on account of the particles invisibility. Let s face it: lots of PM2.5 particles are floating around indoors as well. The key feature of the AirEngine air cleaner is its dual fan structure ‒ one to bring air in and the other to expel it. The two fans work in tandem to release up to 10,000 liters of filtered air every minute. The AirEngine creates dynamic air circulation like an air circulator, allowing it to draw in and filter particulates that manage to reach

The filter cleaning sign flashes after 500 hours of continuous operation. Use a va cuum cleaner to clean the surface of the filter. For efficient operation, the filter s hould be replaced every year.

AirEngine is a dependable guard against a wide range of indoor particulates that can travel deep into your body without your knowledge and threaten your health. For details, please contact Balmuda (0120-686-717 (toll free) http://www. *AirEngine was conceptualized and designed in Japan.


2014 May&June

「AirEngine」 Di me n s i o n s : 2 5 0 mm ( W) ×2 5 0 mm ( D) ×7 0 0 mm ( H) We i g h t : 8 . 0 Kg Po we r Re q u i r e me n t : AC1 0 0 V, 5 0 / 6 0 Hz Pr i c e : 4 7 , 4 2 9 y e n ( +t a x ) 2014 May& June


My Journey

A DREAM IN PROGRESS Photos/Yosuke Suga Text/JQR

Article 1 in a Series

Hiroshi Moriyama Emeritus Professor, The Jikei University School of Medicine Former Director, The Jikei University Hospital

I knew I had to make a living, so I decided to become a doctor.

My Grandmother s Example

I m the third generation of doctors in my

father and uncle, but they were burned

wouldn t object to letting us into their

family. As our last name (Moriyama

out of their home by the air raids during

gardens if we asked. Looking back now,

̶ forest mountain ) might tell you, our

World War II, and ended up moving to

it was really a great time. The city

family were originally timber merchants

Tokyo s Edogawa district. I was born in

looked dingy and run down, and the

in Tochigi Prefecture. My grandfather,

Edogawa in February of 1948. My

whole country was poor, but people

Fukusaburo Moriyama, graduated from

brother was born six years later, but

were always very laid back about

what was then the Chiba School of

died at the age of just 33.


Medicine and later became a physician,

After graduating from Tokyo Medical

One day, I had a chance to talk with my

but one day he fell off a carriage as he

and Dental University, our father

father about my future, and I told him I

was making his rounds and died when

worked at a hospital, then opened a

wanted to go into archeology. His

he was still in his mid-thirties.

clinic in Koiwa around 1961. Our

response was that archeology was all

At the time his wife, Hana, was caring

mother s older brother was also a

well and good, but I d never make a

for two young sons, ages five and two

pharmacist, and ran a pharmacy in

living from it. He pointed out that many

̶my father and my uncle. I guess she

doctors̶like the writers Ogai Mori and

thought that to provide for two small

Morio Kita̶did something else on the

children she d need some kind of

side, and that I could always pursue

vocation, but in any case she started

archeology as a hobby. At the time,

studying and entered a dental college.

archeology truly wasn t any way to

She must have been 25 or 26 at the

make a living, and that must have

time. Her older brother, who had opened

worried him. That fact was what led me

a dental practice in Ashikaga, paid her

to begin thinking about becoming a

tuition. Apparently she would leave my


uncle at her parent s house and go to

Actually, the one who really wanted to

classes with my father on her back. The

make a doctor out of me was our

story is very similar to that of an NHK

grandmother, perhaps because she d wanted to become one herself. She

serial drama that ran back in the 60s, Gunma Prefecture, so I grew up

was always the one who worried most

was intent on pursuing my grandfather s

surrounded by people in the medical

about my grades.

dreams̶in fact, she d actually hoped

field. But I was just a regular kid, and

Having grown up in the Meiji Period,

to get into medical school. Later she

not the least bit interested in medicine.

my grandmother was a woman of grit

said that trying to graduate from

I failed all of my entrance exams for

and character. She continued seeing

medical school while raising two

private high schools, and in the end had

patients at her dental clinic until the

children would have just been too

to settle for a second-tier public high

age of 82, and remained hale and

difficult, and that s why she chose


hearty until she died at 94. Because


Once I got to high school, I still didn t

her clinic was also the family home, I

After graduating from dental school

want to become a doctor, so I joined

knew firsthand what an examining room

while raising two children on her own,

the geology club and spent a lot of time

felt like, and seeing my father rush out

my grandmother acquired more training

in Ishikawa, in the neighboring

on house calls in the middle of the

while working at a dental clinic, and

prefecture, busily digging up fossils and

night was an everyday thing. As a

eventually opened her own clinic in

clay pots. Ishikawa was famous for its

result, I was perhaps more prepared to

Kamata. That s where she raised my

shell mounds, and back then farmers

become a doctor in body than in mind.

Ohana-han. I think my grandmother

(To be continued)

Hiroshi Moriyama


2014 May&June

Emeritus Professor, the Jikei University School of Medicine; Former Director of the Jikei University Hospital; Honorary Member of the American Academy of Otolaryngology̶Head and Neck Surgery; Honorary Member of the European Rhin ologic Society; Co-chairman of the Oto-Rhino-Laryngological Society of Japan; Advisor to the Association of Japanese Medical Colleges. An international pioneer in the use of endoscopic surgery to treat paranasal sinus disease.


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